Organic vs Natural: What's The Difference

What is the Difference between Organic and Natural Products?

Organic vs Natural as defined by the USDA

Organic vs Natural as defined by the USDA

We all want to be wiser consumers and not victims of impulse buying and marketing tactics.  When it comes to our desire to eat healthier to promote a lifestyle of wellness, we really are searching for affirming information that what we are purchasing is good for us. 

So we look for packaging and labeling that consciously (and subconsciously) tell us that “Hey, look at this bottle, it ‘looks’ like a healthy product and the label says ‘all-natural’ and/or ‘organic’”. 

But do we really know what that means?  We are quick to read it and grab it, assuming that we are making the right choice for a healthy diet for ourselves and our family.  There are many nutritional labels used for information/education and marketing, such as: 

  • sugar-free
  • low-fat
  • fat-free
  • gluten-free
  • antibiotic and hormone-free
  • free range
  • all-natural or natural
  • organic

Organic and Natural and All-Natural

Let’s focus though, on the labels:  Organic vs Natural vs All-Natural:  Do you know the difference? 

Many food products are labeled “Natural”, but the label “Organic” is given by the USDA. 

For the packaging to read, “Natural” it is implying that there is minimal processing in the making of the finished product and no artificial flavors or colors added.  “Natural” has nothing to do with the growing process of the product.

Organic products, on the other hand, have strict standards regarding no use of pesticides or preservatives during the growing process.   You’ll notice the label as a circle with the words “USDA Organic”. This label means the product is at least 95 percent organic and had to pass USDA regulations.   Don’t let this confuse you with the phrase, “Made with Organic Ingredients” which means that the product is only 70% organic.

So you see, both labels – “Organic” and “Natural” are good things and a step in the right direction of health-conscious consumers.  However, they do mean different things in the food labeling world.

This video explains in a fun way: